, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – Raila Odinga has faulted Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi’s move to label some judicial officers as evil.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the opposition leader lashed out at Matiangi in reference to a statement he made on Tuesday when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security to explain the deportation of Miguna Miguna, the self-declared General of the National Revolutionary Movement (NRM).
“If Matiangi has evidence against the judges he is attacking, the responsible thing to do is to register his complaint and present his evidence to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC),” Odinga stated.
“The JSC has the constitutional mandate to pursue issues of unethical behaviour of judges,” he added.
Odinga, whose controversial swearing-in as the “People’s President” by Miguna on January 30 marked the onset of the Canadian-schooled lawyer’s woes, termed Matiangi’s remarks as unfortunate and unacceptable for a State officer of his caliber.
The opposition leader who made peace with President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9 after months of a protracted political fight characterized by running battles between his supporters and the police and which was occasioned by his refusal to acknowledge Kenyatta’s election in last year’s poll said Matiangi’s remarks risked dividing the nation.
“Every leader should know that and should behave and talk in ways that will help Kenyans re-focus on the problems we have in a sober and rational manner rather than worsen them. The politics and leadership of chest-thumping, fear mongering, hate and division must end in Kenya,” he said.
While addressing the security committee on Tuesday, Matiangi had denied disdaining the judiciary when queried on the same saying judicial officers were largely independent except for a few who he said had been captured by ill-intent anti-government individuals.
“There’s an evil clique of judicial officers working with activist lawyers and elements in the civil society who are determined to make sure that the executive does not function and they will issue order after order,” the internal security boss told members of the committee in reference to orders issued by Justices George Odunga and (Lady) Roselyn Aburili in the Miguna deportation saga.
Odinga also condemned Matiangi for unfavourably making mention of his predecessors in the internal security docket saying he should instead focus on amending the problems they might have created as opposed to pointing an accusing finger to them.
“It is irresponsible to castigate one’s predecessors in office particularly when they are dead and not there to defend themselves,” he said.
Matiangi’s sentiments on Tuesday were equally faulted by Transparency International – Kenya (TI-K).
TI-K’s Executive Director Samuel Kimeu told Capital FM News on Wednesday morning that the interior affairs boss had erred by launching an attack judicial officers yet he had not exhausted avenues for appeal.
“He (Matiangi) should remember that those judges have been appointed to serve a purpose within our constitutional framework and if he is willing to continue working within government and within a constitutional framework, then he has to obey the orders coming from court and if he is unhappy with them again, the avenues are there for him to appeal. The avenues are there when he is dissatisfied with individual judges,” Kimeu said.
During his appearance before the National Assembly Committee on Tuesday, Matiangi had denied reports that Miguna had been re-deported despite the court having directed security agencies to produce him in court.
Matiangi said Miguna was at no point under the custody of the State adding the NRM “General” was, in fact, an undocumented passenger on the airside of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where his lawyers had told the court he was being held by immigration officials.
He was placed on a Dubai flight Wednesday last week ahead of his anticipated appearance before Justice Odunga who had insisted that Matiangi, Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, and National Police Service Inspector General Joseph Boinnet must secure a safe passage for Miguna out of JKIA.
Justice Odunga consequently found the three to have acted in contempt of court fining them Sh200,000 each, which money was to be deducted from their April salaries. The judgment has since been appealed by the Attorney General.
The judge declined to hear State Counsel Japheth Mutinda who had told the court that immigration officials at JKIA were facing difficulties processing Miguna who had declined to produce his Canadian passport for stamping.
The interior ministry has since the initial deportation of Miguna held that his Kenyan citizenship was irregularly re-acquired having failed to follow the laid down regularization procedure.
Matiangi in a thinly veiled attacked suggested that the irregular re-acquisition was sanctioned by former Immigration minister, late Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’.
According to the ministry, Miguna lost his Kenyan citizenship by birth upon acquiring Canadian citizenship under the old constitution, an act that was forbidden at the time.
Immigration officials were sent to JKIA with forms to aid Miguna to regularize his Kenyan citizenship when he arrived from Dubai.
Miguna declined the request, staging a three-day resistance that culminated into his expulsion to Dubai where his flight had originated from.
He has since gone back to Canada using his Canadian passport for what he has termed as a need to have toxicology tests conducted on him to examine the possible injection of “noxious substances” when he was “dragged” into the Dubai flight last week.
“I was dragged, assaulted, drugged and forcefully flown to Dubai. I woke up in Dubai and the despots are here insisting that I must travel on to London. I’m sick. I need medical treatment. A Mr Njihia is threatening me. I need urgent help here. I want to take a flight only to Nairobi. Nowhere else! I’m sick. My ribs and body is hurting all over. This is a travesty of justice!” he said on Thursday upon his arrival in Dubai.
“I have severe pain on the left side of my chest, my left wrist, my right elbow and my feet,” he added.